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You already know what day it is. Friday. It might be the second-best day of the week (shout out Saturday, that beautiful bastard), but after five days of work, it sure as hell feels like the best. How’s your week been? Did you bust your ass, actually working the 40+ hours you get paid for? Did you spend 90% of your time dicking around on the internet and refreshing Twitter? Maybe you finished a project you’ve been slaving over for weeks and got a “good job” from your boss. Maybe you went hard at a company happy hour last night and vaguely remember getting in a heated political discussion with the CFO. Doesn’t matter. We’re less than eight hours away from the weekend, and win or lose, we still booze.
That philosophy was first introduced to me in high school as impressionable freshmen and it has stuck with me ever since. I remember the scene well. I was sitting in the locker room on a Friday night, taking my gear off after shitty hockey game where we got our asses whooped by a rival school. If that wasn’t bad enough, I had played particularly terribly. Whether it was nerves, skill, the fact that I had 30 less pounds of muscle than the seniors we played, or a combination of all three, I looked like hot garbage out there. I think I had a reverse Gordie Howe hat trick (I missed a wide-open shot, air-mailed a possible assist, and lost a fight).
Needless to say, I was not in a good mood. I hate losing and I was dead set on going home, starting a fight with my parents over nothing, and blasting some Taking Back Sunday in my room. That’s when one of the older players on the team took pity on me in all my pubescent hormone-filled rage, put an arm around me, and said, “Hey man, shit happens. But if we party when we win, we’re sure as hell gonna party harder when we lose.” I looked into the eyes of some 17-year-old idiot, and internalized that mindset. I then proceeded to go to a party at his house where I also internalized, and then later externalized, ten shots of Captain Morgan.
The shitty rum might not have stuck with me, but that philosophy did. It continued through the rest of my high school career, and into college, when I heard the more succinct version of that saying. It was at a home football game, and I was getting rowdy in the student section. I went to the prestigious San Jose State University, and what me lacked in name recognition, we also made up for by being arguably the worst D1 football school in the nation. We ended up going 2-10 that year, and this game was right on par. When we took a dagger in the beginning of the fourth quarter in the form of a pick-six, I knew there was no point in staying. As the student section began to drain, filing thousands of shitfaced kids out to the tailgate field, I heard a chant begin. At first, I couldn’t make out what was being said, but as it grew into a roar, I could hear it as though it was filling my brain. “Win or lose. We still booze. Win or lose. We still booze.” The roar filled my soul, and as I threw back my head and screamed, I knew we were in for a great night. I ended up taking home an attractive girl and then passing out before I could hook up with her, so I was half-right, I guess?
That mantra continued to get said, yelled, and chanted by my friends and I throughout the rest of college, and the several years since then. Everyone knows to celebrate a win, but celebrating a loss comes hard. You have to work at it; hell, force it at times. Because you know what? A loss is something to be celebrated. Whether you tried but still failed, failed but learned something, or even just fucked up, there’s good to be found in the loss. Celebrate because whatever you were working your ass off on is over. Celebrate because you know how to succeed next time. Celebrate because your fuck up was a wake-up call. Hell, celebrate just because it can’t get worse, and you need a fucking pick me up.
In 2011, I broke my nose running from the police. The next night, I celebrated the fact that I got away, and that my parents had excellent health insurance. In 2013, I went through the worst breakup of my life. The next weekend, I went out to the clubs and celebrated that I could (unsuccessfully) hit on randoms again. In 2015, I got rejected for a job I had advanced to the final interview on, and realized I would have to go back to school for two years to be able to break into the industry I wanted to work in. That Friday, I hit the bars to celebrate that I knew what I had to do to chase my dream. Today, I find out whether my internship is over, or if my agency is going to bring me on as an employee. It could be a great day, or it could mean the long road to my dream job isn’t over. Either way, you’ll find me at the bars tonight.
It’s been a long week. But, today… today is Friday. Whether you crushed it this week or got crushed this week, celebrate. Whether you’re on top of the world or took it on the chin, a frosty beer is waiting. Missed deadlines, skipped workouts, long hours and short pay. There’s a win hiding in every loss, no matter how hard you have to look for it. And what do we do when we win? We party.
Win or lose, we still booze. .